1 Sep 2006

Pacific Community set to absorb other regional technical agencies under new proposal

1:47 pm on 1 September 2006

The latest proposals for a new regional structure in the Pacific to help with the implementation of the Pacific Plan point to the Noumea headquartered Pacific Community, or SPC, becoming a much more substantial agency.

The latest plan suggests the Pacific Islands Forum become a solely political body, while six regional technical advisory agencies be merged into one.

It proposes the new agency be set up under the auspices of the SPC and based in Noumea, but its director general, Dr Jimmy Rodgers, says it is not about one body winning and others losing, rather the best way to organise activities in the region.

A planning team is to have two years preparing for a merger and Dr Rodgers says after that a name other than the Pacific Community may be chosen.

"What they have recommended is that the SPC incorporate the other agencies functions within the two year period, so there is a recommendation there that the SPC remains. It may however be that if this team looks at it over the two year period they may propose other names."